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ORC Pilot Programs With SC, WEG

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Published: March 25, 2010 2:20 pm ET

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As part of its commitment to excellence in officiating and communication, the Ontario Racing Commission is launching two initiatives designed to communicate in a clear, concise and accessible way.

In the first pilot, the ORC and Standardbred Canada have joined in an online collaboration featuring regular contributions from ORC judges in an exclusive website feature.

In a weekly feature titled 'From the Stand,' the ORC judges will select calls that have attracted discussion and questions (or the potential to do so) from the judges stand at Woodbine and Flamboro. The intent is to explain the reasons for the call, including reference to the rule and background to the reasons for the ruling.

"We recognize that some views of the race are limited to the racing public, or the reasons for calling the violation need some explanation," said ORC Manager of Racing Brent Stone. "The ORC wishes to be fully transparent in all its rulings." The intent is to expand the feature to include all Ontario racetracks.

"Standardbred Canada looks forward to working with the ORC on this initiative in continuing with our commitment to provide SC members and the harness racing industry with information that will help inform and educate while also promoting the racing product," said SC Web Director Jeff Porchak.

The ORC and the Woodbine Entertainment Group are collaborating on a second pilot program -- Judges/Stewards Announcement. Previously, once an inquiry was called, and the judges/stewards had reviewed the incident, the track announcer would be called upon to relay the decision to the broadcast and simulcast audiences.

Under this initiative, in addition to the announcer relaying the decision, an ORC judge/steward will make an announcement, explaining the nature of the violation, where it happened and who was involved. The WEG TV crew will broadcast the announcement at an appropriate break in the race program. "It's similar to what other sports ruling officials have been doing for a number of years. We want the explanations to be clear and easily understood," said Stone.

For more information, contact:
Brent Stone, Manager of Racing
416 213-0520

(With files from ORC)


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